You knew it, even before you stepped inside, even before you entered the half closed door – that something was amiss. But you didn’t expect Poja to be moaning on top of your mother, swinging his waist, while his left hand cupped her mouth. It was a horrible image of incest.
You didn’t realize there was something more horrible until you saw your father lying close to them with stains of blood spray-painted on his thick white collar.
Poja used to be your brother until that heavy afternoon when the message of your grandmother reached your father. Your father had asked you to read the letter. In that letter, your grandmother had ordered your father to leave the house because Poja would be coming to kill him soon. Your father didn’t take her words for it.
The memory of Poja in your father’s heart was still that young submissive boy that could steal but could not harm a hair.
In that letter, your grandmother said Poja had set up a notorious armed robbery group in the village. Eyi Iraga; the Axes – that was what your grandmother called them. Your father had collected the letter from you and laughed, stared at the letter as though he could read a word. He had asked you to go back to your room.
But Poja’s story didn’t start from there.
17 years ago on that lonely night, he was caught with a ram and the angry villager who had experienced a series of sudden disappearances of their goats and sheep vented their anger on Poja, beating him, singing songs of shame as they dragged him through the village before they stopped at your father’s house.
Your father disowned him.
He found succour in your Grandmother’s hut in the village.
“Father. Please forgive me…” He’d begged.
Mother told you that his face had been red, his knees were on the ground as he begged father to forgive him but father had not listened to him.
You saw Poja’s hand sink lower to the ground. He picked the stained knife. He bent down, kissed your mother, looked nonchalantly at her helpless face and smiled before he slit her throat. Blood gushed out in torrents.
You tried not to scream but you did and Poja turned.
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